How to navigate your way through a career change as a parent

While a recent study revealed that 70% of working adults are unhappy in their current job, many choose to remain in that position instead of seeking out new work. After all, a steady job provides you with a reliable income source, which is especially crucial when raising a family.

However, as we spend one-third of our lives at work, finding a job you love is crucial. Simply put, you deserve to have a fulfilling career in an industry that excites you.

With that in mind, here are some tips that you may find useful when navigating your way through a career change as a parent. 

Figure out what your ‘dream’ role actually is. 

Before quitting your current job, you need to have an idea in mind of what role or position you’d like to transition into. This will make it much easier to determine your next course of action. For example, for certain jobs, you may need to re-train, whereas for others, you can use your transferable skills to hit the ground running. 

If you are unsure what roles you are interested in, take a look at the ways in which you spend your free time. After all, if you can find a way to profit from your hobbies and interests, you will hardly feel like you are going to work at all. Alternatively, you may want to work with a careers advisor, who can help you work through your career goals and find a position that you truly love.

Be open to new learning opportunities. 

Entering a new career often means starting from the bottom and working your way up. This could mean that you need to return to school or full-time study before you’re able to take on a new role. While this may seem daunting, it will all be worth it in the end. After all, not only are you investing in your future happiness, you’re also setting a great example for your kids. As such, this is a great way to raise a hardworking child who isn’t afraid to chase after their dreams – just like their mum! 

For example, if you are interested in jobs in women’s health, such as working as a midwife or clinical advisor, additional training is necessary. This will enable you to develop a wide range of skills that allow you to excel in your chosen career while also providing patients with an exceptional level of care. I went back to uni to train as a teacher and thought I’d be surrounded by people fifteen years younger than me, so it was pleasantly surprising to find quite a few mature students with career changing stories to share.

Update your CV. 

If you’ve been in your current role for a while, the chances are you’ve not updated your CV during this time. This is something that you should make a priority before you begin applying for new roles so that you are putting your best foot forward. You should ensure that all information is as up-to-date as possible and that you provide the reader with plenty of insight into your career so far.

When you are transitioning into a new industry, it’s vital that you place a particular focus on any transferable skills you have developed over the course of your career – as they will come into play in any role you take on. For example, you may want to focus on your ability to work as part of a team or your leadership abilities. 

You should also ensure that you edit your CV each time you apply for a new role, as opposed to using the same cookie-cutter resume over and over again. While this may seem like a great way to save time, especially when sending out a large volume of applications, it is not the best way to get your CV noticed. Instead, highlight all of the keywords and phrases in each job description, and find a way to embed them into your resume! 

Reach out to potential mentors. 

Whether you are considering launching your own start-up, or applying for a specific role, reaching out to potential mentors is a great way to boost your chances of success. After all, they will be able to provide you with invaluable advice on: 

  1. How to get started in your chosen industry
  2. Where to find work
  3. How to tailor or improve your resume

Furthermore, forging strong relationships with those who are already actively working in your industry is a great networking opportunity. While they may not be able to offer you a job outright, they may know someone who is hiring and may be able to put you forward or advocate for you. 

When reaching out to potential mentors, try to do your research ahead of time. In your initial email or message, mention something about their work that inspires or interests you. 

Brush up on your interview skills. 

Job interviews will always be nerve-wracking, but you can increase your chances of success by preparing as much as possible ahead of time. 

For example, you should ensure that you speak clearly and confidently without rushing to answer their questions. After all, while you may be keen to impress, speaking without thinking could mean that you answer questions incorrectly or fail to give a more considered response. Conversely, taking your time to formulate a response allows you to present yourself in the best possible light.

Where possible, try to give examples to back up your answers. For example, instead of saying that you’re a great team player, give references to why you are a great team player and examples of how you have worked collaboratively in the past.

You should also ensure that you work on your active listening skills. This will allow you to form a stronger relationship with the interview while also demonstrating your attentiveness.

Hold your nerve. 

It takes roughly three to six months, on average, to find a new job. As a result, it is important that you are able to both manage your stress and hold your nerve during this time. While it can be disheartening to receive rejections, remember what you are working toward and why you chose to take this leap. Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed, and remember that it will all be worth it in the end. 

Last Updated on 5 months by Lavania Oluban

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